The Winds of Change

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By: Khalid Hafeez

He belonged to the noble family of Omayads. His name was Musa Bin Mohammed Sulaiman Al-Hashmi. He lived an extravagant life. Best food, best clothes, best perfumes and best vine were his choice for the money he had in abundance.

He didn’t worry about anything. He lived in a house overlooking the main street on one side, and beautiful gardens on the other. People would bring expensive sweet smelling oils for him from far off places. He spent his days in watching the dances and listening to music and nights in drinking himself off to unconsciousness. He enjoyed his life and valued his friends who kept an eye for all things of his interest and would bring them for any price asked for.

27 years passed over him like this until one night when he was enjoying a spectacle of a dance of few females, he heard a noise – sweet, enchanting, yet solemn and serene. Wind. At times it was clear and the words were somewhat audible but the ebbing wind made it difficult to understand the very next moment. He didn’t realize that he had lost his attention to the spectacle in front, and become desperate when the voice was very low. He asked to finish the show immediately and check out for the person with the sweet voice. Soon the men returned with a person clad in two small sheets. He seemed starved yet his eyes shone a confidence that would never be seen in many affluent eyes. He was found reciting the verses of Surah Tatfeef. 

Translation: Off course, the pious people would live among the great blessings of Jannat. They would sit over the wide beds and watch the strange beauties of Jannat. And you could feel the refreshing effects of these blessing on their faces. A drink would be served for them, sealed with pure musk. And those who greed; should greed for such things as they are the return of pious deeds.

The man turned towards Musa and said, “ Your palace, its tower and its lights have nothing to do with what I have just mentioned. The verses I read out of Qua’an were just for those who feared Allah and lived a life free of all what you spent. Those who disobeyed would live in the hell forever. The pain and punishment of the hell would never be lightened for them. They would burn in it without hope. The criminal would wish to trade his wife; sons; wealth; brothers; family; and all that is there in the world to escape the punishment of the day. 

The raging fire would call the person who paid no heed to the Truth; the obedience of Allah and collected his wealth illegally and kept it with care. He would be in a painful labor and Anger of Allah from where he would never be free.

Musa bin Sulaiman on hearing this, got up from where he sat and came to the man in rags. He hugged the man and cried. He cried for a long time over his wasteful past, his youth and his disobedience to Allah. The man in rags listened for a while and then said a few words of hope and wisdom. Musa promised to part from his former crimes and never to do them again. He sold all his property, and gave the money in the way of Allah. He wore a thick shirt, barely giving him the Satr he needed and left his friends and came down to live in a corner of a Mosque.

He returned all the wealth he had extorted. Now he would offer prayers all through the night and fast during the days. He went to perform Hajj bare feet. He would cry hard for forgiveness at Hathem. Slowly, slowly he got a state of heart and mind where his fear of punishment in the hell got balanced by the love of Allah. This love gave him a hope and his personality attained stability. He stayed in Makkah for the rest of his life, doing as much as he could do to wash away his sins. He died in Makkah.